Motorola CEO Sanjay Jha has confirmed that his company has in the works "at least one direct-to-consumer device with Google." Sure sounds like the rumored Google Nexus Two to us, and again solidifies the relationship between the Android developer and hardware manufacturers. (Remember that Jha was on stage with Android and HTC execs at the launch of the Nexus One.)
As for the earnings call and Motorola's recent resurgence in the mobile space, Jha seemed upbeat, though cognizant of the road ahead. "We are just at the beginning of our transition to a smartphone company, and we have a lot of work ahead of us," he said. A couple of other points:
2 million Android-based smartphones sold in the fourth quarter. They expect lower sales in the first quarter.
"Cliq, Backflip and the majority of our new smartphones this year will feature MotoBLUR," Jha said.
As for the numbers end of things, Motorola sold 2 million Android-based smartphones in the fourth quarter. Sales hit $1.82 billion in Q4, up from $1.69 billion in the third quarter. Operating loss was $114 million, down from $183 million the previous quarter, and down from $476 million in Q4 2008. More on that after the break. [Motorola (pdf link)]
We're getting word that T-Mobile myTouch 3G users are seeing an over-the-air (OTA) update roll in, but unfortunately it's not an update to Android 2.0/2.1 or anything. It's looking like it's not much more than a radio fix (better 3G, anyone?), but that's nothing to scoff at, either. Sing out if you're seeing anything different. [T-Mobile forums via @tsuranoth]
Want a 10-inch tablet with a big black bezel for $500, all without that Apple/AT&T baggage? MSI has one in works, says Digitimes, source of all things sometimes true. The as-yet unannounced and unnamed tablet would run an as-yet unidentified version of Android, powered by a Tegra-based processor. And unlike the iPad (which you guys weren't too keen on, by the way), this one would feature "all the functions of a regular notebook." [Digitimes]
The biggest leap many Android users have to make is going all-in with Google. E-mail, contacts, search results -- Google knows it all. Today is International Data Privacy Day, and the Big G is taking the opportunity to explain its privacy principles in five easy bullet points. Peep them and a cute little explainer video after the break.
Handmark's TweetCaster Twitter application is now live in the Android Market. (If you missed it, be sure to check out our review.) TweetCaster features support for multiple Twitter accounts, geolocation, searches and all of your other favorite Twitter features.
A free, advertising-based version is available, and there's a premium (ad-free) version of TweetCaster available for $4.99 in the Android Market. Note: You need to install the free version first, and then the upgrade key, to go ad-free. Download links below.
Ah, Blackberry. If you think about it, Blackberry is the last of the "old guard" of smartphones still standing. Palm rebooted with webOS and Windows Mobile is looking to do the same with Windows Mobile 7. The (relatively) new players in the game, iPhone and Android, have introduced new philosophies and innovative features while Blackberry just keeps on churning, with its pager history on its back and keyboard tradition on the front, a Blackberry today is simply, yet unmistakably, a better Blackberry from yesterday.
And to tell you guys the truth, I love me some Blackberry. Even though it's a completely different experience compared to the Android experience, there's a lot to love and learn from Blackberry. Though it's not the most ideal device for me, I can definitely see why its so wildly successful. It's undoubtedly a unique experience. But there are obvious limitations to Blackberry, perhaps more so than any other platform, but hey, Blackberrys get things done, right?
See what Android Central thinks of the Blackberry platform in the full review below!
Strangely enough, you don't actually get to see the dock when you're ordering the thing. You have to go to the Nexus One technical specs for that. And there you learn that the dock will automatically launch the clock app. From there you can:
Check the local time and weather
Set and clear alarms
Watch a slideshow of your photos
Dim your phone's display for nighttime use
The dock also comes with a 3.5mm-to-RCA cable so you can run it into your stereo, if you so choose. No word yet on any Bluetooth capability, or on the rumored car dock. Do note that this dock does not sync the phone with a computer. [Google]
Update: Sure enough, the printable user guide (pdf link) confirms that music is transmitted from the phone to the dock via Bluetooth, and then it can be pumped into your stereo. (Nice find, jdmoore81!)
Word's been going around that Firefox will have a browser in beta in February. That's a bit odd, as I've been following the development of Fennec for Maemo and Windows Mobile -- it's being developed openly -- and have seen neither hide nor hair of it. So it looks like a German Mozilla community site may be a little ahead of itself in saying that a beta for Android would be out in February. Here's the response I got from Mozilla U.S.:
Android is on our mobile road map, but the German reports were a bit exaggerated. The Android version of Fennec is not yet in alpha so "on the way" is premature.
Put it this way: The Windows Mobile version hit Alpha status last May and still isn't in Beta form yet. And here's another way to look at it: Mozilla's weekly meetings date back to October 2007. If we were going to see Fennec (that's the code name for the mobile version of Firefox) in a matter of weeks, we'd have heard about it by now.
But that doesn't mean we're not looking forward to the day Firefox arrives on Android. In the meantime, check out the Q&A I did with Moz's Brad Lassey about a year ago.
Finally, it's over with. Apple announced the iPad, a 9.7-inch (diagonal) tablet that essentially is a giant iPhone, only without voice calls. And without a camera. We're nowhere near ready to pass final judgment on this thing. But given that the starting price -- for a WiFi only and a mere 16 gigabytes or storage (before the operating system, mind you) -- is $499, that takes it well into netbook/low-end laptop territory. (Of course, the unlocked Nexus One is about that much, too, so ...)
And so, we'll put it to you guys. You've been waiting alongside the rest of us to see what was coming that was supposed to change our lives. (And followed all of today's news at The iPhone Blog, right?) Is the iPad going to kill the future of Android-based e-readers, tablet and MIDs? Let's hear it.